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Posted: 5/30/2002 2:21:43 PM EDT
WASHINGTON, May 30 — The Justice Department said today that it would immediately loosen restrictions on the F.B.I., giving the bureau broad new powers to go after terrorists without violating the United States Constitution.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, announced the changes this afternoon. Mr. Ashcroft said that far from endangering the rights of Americans, the changes would allow federal agents to do things that members of the public already do.

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